30 Nov 2021

Golf trends changing as new female member numbers soar

Tipperary Golf Club

Dromoland Lady Captain Karina Doyle

Women’s Golf Day was due to take place on June 2, this year like many other events it will be celebrated in a virtual manner.  The purpose of this day is to promote golf to women and girls around the world.  Golf is the second most popular club sport in the country today after the GAA.  Although men outnumber women by nearly 4 to 1 at the moment that trend is changing rapidly according to Karina Doyle, Lady Captain at Dromoland Golf Club. 

“Two thirds of new golfers since 2014 in Ireland are women and girls, and we are seeing the same trend in Dromoland with 14% of our current members only having joined in the past 2 years.  It really is a growing sport for women and girls at the moment.”

It’s not just at club level either that Women’s golf is booming with Leona McGuire and Stephanie Meadow performing at the top level on the LPGA tour.  McGuire was ranked as the world number one amateur for a record 135 weeks before gaining her LPGA tour card in 2019.  “It’s important for our girls to have role models like Leona and Stephanie up there alongside Rory and Shane on the world stage, if they can see it they can be it” said Karina about our two tour stars.  “Golf used to be a game for older men, but these days it’s a perfect sport for all of the family, this year for example Ellie Cotgreave is our first ever Junior Captain.  I myself always loved athletics as a teenager but later in my twenties took up this great game.  It is such a wonderful way to make friendships while incorporating exercise along with some healthy competition.  I definitely fell for it hook, line and sinker.”

Golf is lucky to be included in Phase 1 of the Roadmap for reopening society and business and it is providing a welcome outlet for everyone who has endured lockdown since early March.  Evidence suggests that golfers are stronger, have better balance and live longer than equivalent non-golfers. The handicap system in golf levels the playing field for everyone. This means that a beginner can play alongside an experienced member with both enjoying their own individual game.  “Mark Twain famously joked that golf is a good walk spoiled but for me I always enjoy walking the scenic fairways of Dromoland no matter what the golf is like on any given day”, said Karina.

Most clubs in Ireland participate in the Get into Golf Program which includes lessons along with experienced members volunteering to assist with beginners.  “At Dromoland we run golf days for beginners which give people space to get into the game but we also encourage everyone to take part in our bigger days, as the social aspect of club golf is every bit as important as the sport itself.   Whether you are a budding tour star or looking for a new way to meet friends, now is the time to visit your local club and Get into Golf.”

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